Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broken April, 26 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Broken April (Paperback)
This book was a selection by our Round the World Book Group. It was an excellent choice, and was the first to give me a real feeling of being introduced to a completely unknown world and culture. Kadare was still nearly two years away from being the first Man Booker International prize winner (2005) when we read this book. We voted it straight to the top of our list (January 2004) and it stayed there against several serious challengers until it was pipped recently by "Reading Lolita in Tehran". The topic of the book is the vendetta or Kamun. The approach reminded me very much of Robert Silverberg's "A Time of Changes" and Ursula Le Guin's "The Left Hand of Darkness", both of which introduce the reader to familiar, yet unusual, worlds. The inevitability of Gjorg's death is the thread which binds the whole story together. I wonder if the Kamun was introduced originally to control and limit the number of revenge killings which were taking place. The horrific perversion of the Kamun is shown clearly in the section in which Mark muses on how to increase the income from the blood money so as to preserve his position (and his livelihood), as if human lives can be traded like horses. Could someone from outside that culture truly understand such an alien way of life? Thank goodness Kadare resisted any temptation to reconcile Bessian and Diane. After finishing this book I read, within a couple of months, every one of Kadare's books which had been translated into English. If you only read one author this year, make it Kadare. You won't regret it.
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Location: Scotland

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